Quick Tips for Falling Asleep

Posted by Kathryn Wilcox on August 04, 2015

Falling asleep does not happen just because you are tired. Check out these tips for falling asleep if it is not happening when you crawl into your bed.

Be aware that our bodies operate with something known as circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are actually programed in our brain with a kind of biological clock that affects our mental, physical, and behavioral actions on a 24 hours basis. All living things operate on this cycle. The cycles are triggered by environmental factors.

Light is one of the biggest triggers of our biological clock because it is located near your optic nerve. For this reason it is critical to keep light out of your bedroom at bedtime. This includes even the light from your phone or iPad. Those who like to read from their e-readers before going to sleep are prolonging the time their body needs to adjust to sleep mode. Open your curtains before you go to bed, so that the morning sun will wake you!

Make sure that you keep a routine, and do things on a schedule. Going to bed at the same time and getting up on a regular schedule will help keep your biological clock in sync and sleep will come easier.

Exercise should be an important part of your day. There is disagreement about when you should exercise. Intense exercise will tire your body. But some find that exercise too close to bedtime affects your ability to fall asleep. Check this out for yourself, and determine what time works best for your biological clock.

Eating before bed is another thing which affects our bodies. Your digestive system has to work to digest food so again sets your body into a working rather than resting phase. The only thing you should eat is something low in fat and calories, or have a warm cup of herbal tea.

Avoid a hot bath before bedtime and keep your bedroom cool. Your body temperature drops when you sleep so if you heat it up, it takes longer for it to cool down for deep sleep to occur.

Make you bedroom a noise free zone. Many like to fall asleep with soft music and some use what are called quiet noise machines. These seem to work well, but avoid setting the timer on your TV. The light and noise from a TV can definitely affect your ability to fall asleep.

If you are still having trouble falling asleep after trying all of the above tips, you may want to explore using melatonin. This is the hormone that your body releases as it goes into the slowing down stage before sleep time and is used by your body to control sleep and wake times. Very small amounts are in meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables, but those who use it to help them sleep purchase a more concentrated over the counter supplement.